Budget Travel in the Western Cape South Africa

There are very few places in the country that can boast such a diversity of natural places of beauty as the Western Cape. The Garden Route follows the coastline of the Indian Ocean on the Eastern Cape Coast, between a belt of mountain ranges, the Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma mountains inland. The Garden Route enjoys one of the mildest and most equitable climates, with unspoiled golden beaches, beautiful lagoons and estuaries and boasts an excess of 250 species of birds.

The West Coast

The West Coast offers some of the greatest of small town experiences in South Africa. This is a region that needs to be savored, slowly, and therefore road trips along the West Coast are a firm favorite with locals and international visitors. Not only does the area offer some of the most beautiful scenery in the world mountains, oceans and views that go on forever, this coast is also a haven for the finest South African hospitality.

The West Coast has two official wine routes, the Swartland Wine Route and the Olifants River Wine Region. West Coast seas also produce a bounty of quality seafood and line fish to accompany the fruit of the vine and some of the countrys finest restaurants are found along this coastline.

The Winelands

Just a 45-minute drive from Cape Town and youre in the mountains and valleys of the Winelands all gracious gabled Cape Dutch homesteads, cask-lined cellars, oak-treed towns and ultra fine restaurants. The towns of Stellenbosch, Franschoek and Paarl are delightful and beg to be explored and savored very slowly, like good wine.

The Garden Route

This land of lakes, bays, mountains and forests languishes on the southern coast from Heidelberg to the Eastern Cape's Tsitsikamma Forest and Storms River. Its a nook of the country that offers inspiration to writers and artists whose presence gives the Garden Route a trendy flavor. It is also a top priority of many a foreign visitor.

This coastal drive links a series of charming towns interspersed with natural wonder. Along the way, every kind of adventure activity is possible scuba diving, abseiling, fishing and more.

The Klein Karoo

One of the most geologically interesting parts of South Africa is the Klein Karoo, with its towering mountains and sheer gorges. A notable geological feature is the Cango Caves, a series of caverns and chambers naturally hewn out of limestone, outside of the city of Oudtshoorn. These caves are among the top ten most visited South African attractions.

Oudtshoorn itself, the heart of the ostrich feather industry when it was at its zenith in the late 1800's early 1900's, is worth a visit. The grandiose, old feather palaces are still to be seen, while ostrich farms, now involved in the commercial production of meat, leather, eggs and feathers, can be toured, with the possibility of riding an ostrich. The town also hosts an annual music and theater fest the Klein Karoo Kunstefees.

The Central Karoo

The semi-arid Karoo derives its name from an indigenous word meaning [thirstland], but the starkness this implications is deceive. Dig a little below the surface and you find fossil-rich terrain, fascinating rock art, ancient stone-age sites, one of the largest varieties of succulents on the planet and star-filled skies to thrill the astronomer, no matter how amateur.

Peaceful Prince Albert at the foot of the spectacular Swartberg Pass makes a convenient base from which to vent out and explore. Its close to Gamkaskloof or Die Hel (The Hell), once home to an isolated farming community that for a century was accessible only by foot or horseback. The Karoo National Park, as the largest ecosystem in South Africa, reveals how fauna and flora have adapted to their harsh environment.

The Breede River Valley

Some 15 attractive small towns have the good fortune to nestle in the fertile Breede River Valley, wall-to-wall in orchards and vineyards.

Theres Ceres, aptly named for the Roman goddess of fertility; Tulbagh with 32 historical buildings making for the largest concentration of national monuments in the country; Montagu, home of hot mineral springs accused for curative powers; Worcester and Robertson – known for their noble vintages.

The Overberg

An hour east of Cape town 'over the mountains' is the Overberg, marked by a coastline of holiday-friendly beaches, picturesque seaside towns, an ancient lighthouse that has witnessed many shipwreck (at Cape Agulhus) and a whale route that draws more Whales and more watchers each year. Between June and November crowds flock to Hermanus and its surroundings to watch the great mammals court and cavort.

Inland, over the Outeniqua Mountains you will find the Klein Karoo with Oudtshoorn, which is the capital of ostrich land, and is the heart of Ostrich farming worldwide. Undoubtedly the most popular attraction of the area is the subterranean wonderland of the Cango Caves. The caves with its own museum form the tourist hub of the Klein Karoo and are a must to visit.

Attractions:

Robben Island

Table Mountain

Victoria & Alfred Waterfront

Two Oceans Aquarium

Ratanga Junction

Tygerberg Zoo

Stellenbosch

Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve

Drakenstein Lion Park

Cedarberg Wilderness Area

West Coast Fossil Park

Hex River Valley

Kleinplaasie Living Open-Air Museum

Cape Agulhas

Agulhas National Park

Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe

Blaukrantz Bunjy Jumping

Wilderness National Park

Knysna Elephant Park

Suggested Travel Route

Day 1: Stellenbosch

Bergplaas Resort

Tel: 021 887 5331 Fax: 021 887 5331

Mountain Breeze Caravan Park

Tel: 021 880 0200 Fax: 021 880 0200

Day 2: Paarl

Berg River Resort

Tel: 021 863 1650 Fax: 021 863 2583

Orleans Caravan Parks

Tel: 021 862 3520 Fax: 021 862 3520

Day 3: Clanwilliam

Bulshoekdam Leisure Resort

Tel: 027 482 2635 Fax: 027 482 2635

Clanwilliam Dam Resort

Tel: 027 482 8000 Fax: 027 482 1933

Driehoek Caravan & Camping

Tel: 027 482 2828 Fax: 027 482 2828

Day 4: Worcester

Nekkies Municipal Resort

Tel: 023 343 2909 Fax: 023 343 2911

Day 5: Swellendam

Kambati River Resort

Tel: 028 514 3999 Fax: 086 627 3528

Day 6: Still Bay

Ellensrust Caravan Park

Tel: 028 754 1034 Fax: 028 754 1140

Stilbaai Municipal Caravan Park

Tel: 028 754 1034 Fax: 028 754 1034

Day 7: George

George Tourist Resort

Tel: 044 874 5205 Fax: 044 874 4255

George-East Caravan Park

Tel: 044 889 0034 Fax: 044 889 0034

Herolds Bay Municipal Caravan Park

Tel: 044 801 9262 Fax: 044 873 3862

Day 8: Knysna

Buffelskop Caravan Park

Tel: 044 384 1314 Fax: 044 384 1314

Lake Brenton Resort

Tel: 044 381 0060 Fax: 044 381 0065

Monks Holiday Resort

Tel: 044 382 2609 Fax: 044 382 2609

Distances in km from Cape Town

Beaufort West 463 km

Bredasdorp 207 km

Hermanus 109 km

Knysna 465 km

Oudtshoorn 422 km

Roberton 165 km

Vredenburg 162 km

Vredendal 297 km

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